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FlexNet Network Named Licenses

“Network Named Licensing” is a licensing method that allocates a certain number of licenses to predefined users or machines in the organization. In software systems licensed by FlexNet publisher, this is usually implemented using Options file; Licenses are dedicated to specific users or machines by specifying usernames and hostnames on these Options files, dictating usage restrictions and permissions on the license server

The problem

Organizations normally acquire software licenses in pools, and may have specific licenses present in multiple pools. Such is the case when the organization’s software assets are a hybrid of Node locked, Named and Floating licenses. In such cases, the association of a checked-out license to a specific license pool becomes unclear. This obscurity is particularly disturbing given the fact that Floating licenses are normally more expensive than Named licenses, and so keeping track of license consumption and billing is compromised.

Solution in OpenLM

OpenLM Version 3.0 provides a solution to this problem, and enables detailed usage reporting in a hybrid license-type environment. See the image below for reference.

Maintaining the Options File

OpenLM provides a method for automatically maintaining the FlexLM Options file through a dedicated menu driven extension. Options files are kept in synch with the organizational units and groups as they are defined in the organization’s LDAP (Active Directory). The OpenLM Options file menu is presented below:

In OpenLM Version 3.0, the complete list of FlexLM Options’ files keywords and parameters has been integrated in the OpenLM Options file extension (e.g.: asset_info, VERSION, HOSTID, EXPDATE, KEY, SIGN, ISSUER, NOTICE,  VENDOR_STRING, dist_info,  and user_info). OpenLM can now enforce license usage according to predefined license pools, by means of the asset_info parameter.

Example

OpenLM facilitates matlab license usage reporting. This example demonstrates the configuration required for enforcing Network Named licensing for MATLAB on FLEXnet publisher

FLEXlm MATLAB License File:

The number of named licenses reserved for specific users is specified in the license file’s INCREMENT or FEATURE line as “USER_BASED=5”. These assets are marked by the ASSET_INFO parameter “ASSET_INFO=123456”

INCREMENT MATLAB MLM 31 01-jan-0000 101234 XXXXXXXXXX\

VENDOR_STRING=vi=0:at=276:ae=1:lu=300:lo=NNU:ei=XXXXXX:lr=1: \

HOSTID=ID=123 USER_BASED=5 DUP_GROUP=UH sort=90 asset_info=123456 \

ISSUED=XXXX BORROW=720 NOTICE=product=MATLAB SN=123 \

SIGN=”XXXX XXXX … XXXX”

FLEXlm MATLAB Options file:

In the Options file, a group containing exactly 5 users is defined as follows:

GROUP NNU_MATLAB_USERS User1 User2 User3 User4 User5

Further down the Options file, an INCLUDE line is added, to reserve the licenses for users User1,…,User5:

INCLUDE MATLAB:asset_info=123456 GROUP NNU_MATLAB_USERS

Conclusion

OpenLM provides a comprehensive solution for keeping track with changes made on the Organizational Active Directory, Applying these changes to FlexLM Options files, and reporting historical and concurrent license usage according to license types:”Named Licenses”, “Node Locked Licenses” and “Floating Licenses”.